The natural law on hubcaps

IT’S not plastic bags that are taking over the world, nor discarded ballpoint pens.

It’s hubcaps.

I never realised this until one fell off.

Oh, I’ve seen them at the roadside from time to time and thought no more about it, but when mine fell off I went looking for it.

I found 13 hubcaps in the 100-metre stretch where I know I lost it. And that was only on one side of the road!

Mine wasn’t one of them.

Mine, no doubt, had gone scything into the bush, felling koalas and kangaroos and 100-year-old gum trees. You could probably walk from Townsville to Broome on a pavement of hubcaps.

I suspect, too, that hubcaps are governed by the same natural law that states you will only ever retrieve one sock from the washing machine, no matter how many you place in there. That is, you will eventually find every lost hubcap in the entire universe, but none of them will be yours.

I’m giving up this writing game. I’m going to recycle hubcaps. I expect to be rich soon.

There must be millions of them out there!

I mean, there are not only the ones that have fallen off. Once one has, the rest are a bit silly. What can you do but chuck ’em away?

Not that you need the other three. It wouldn’t take long to knock up a whole set from the individual ones.

You don’t really even need a matching set of four. What’s wrong with two matching sets of two? No-one ever sees all four at once.

Then there’s the added-value aspect. I can bung them in the oven till they go soft and mould them into flower pots, like they did with the old vinyl records years ago.

Or paint flowers on the inside and sell them as fruit bowls.

Big Frisbees?

The thing that really interests me, though, is why the bloody things are on the car in the first place.

They don’t do anything. I don’t think they make the car go any faster. And they get in the way when you blow up the tyres.

And they fall off.

I remember a time when a wheel with the nuts and bolts showing was all you ever got.

What was wrong with that?

Is the world obsessed with covering up the working bits; sanitising reality with something modest? – witness the fuss over topless bathers on a Townsville beach this week.

Or is it that the only way you can imply you have a bigger… thingy (if you drive a Ford Prefect) is through your hubcaps?

Surely not. I mean, my hubcaps — the three I’ve still got — are small, unremarkable, quite modest affairs.

True, I have searched for the missing one in vain, and there might be an analogy of some kind there, but I don’t want to discuss it.

I do have a solution to lost hubcaps, however.

The thing is, if you go out and search for the one you lost, you won’t find it. But you might find mine, for which I’d be very grateful, and if you want to come and have a look for yours through the growing collection I’m amassing, you’re very welcome.

I’ll be charging a lot less than for a whole new set…